What's This All About, Then?
The Republic of Molossia isn't on any road map, but if you get lost along the way, you can always ring the president, who is happy to give directions. "Take Route 341 over the mountains, and make a left on Six Mile Canyon Road," explained His Excellency Kevin Baugh. "And be careful of the speed trap as you're coming into Virginia City."
Not every dictator gives travel tips to the tourists. But Molossia isn't any run-of-the-mill country. It's a micronation, a teeny republic that consists of - to be honest - Baugh's three-bedroom house and 1.3-acre yard.
Baugh, a 45-year-old father of two, is a micronationalist, one of a wacky band of do-it-yourself nation builders who raise flags over their front yards and declare their property to be, as Baugh puts it, "the kingdom of me." In a scorched corner of the Nevada desert, an area where few would likely assert a counter-claim, Baugh has declared independence, hanging a sign, marking his borders and, in his driveway, building a customs shack. He has a space program (a model rocket), a currency (pegged to the value of chocolate-chip cookie dough), a railroad (model size), a national sport (broomball) and - in his landlocked desert region - a navy (an inflatable boat).
"Welcome to Molossia!" called Baugh, who during the week works as a human resources recruiter but on a recent Saturday stood on his doorstep, wearing a formal military uniform (dress cap, brass-buttoned jacket, gold epaulets, six medals, tricolor sash and patent-leather shoes), and prepared to lead a 45-minute trek through his small backyard. "You're our fifth visitor this year," he said, with a satisfied grin.
Without making any clear declarations as to the filmmaker's feelings on the topic, this documentary sets out to learn more about Molossia. It is left up to the viewer to decide whether Kevin Baugh is a madman, a visionary, a goofball with nothing better to do with his time...
The desolation of the countryside is at one point held up side by side with Mr. Baugh's work space - a bland, beige cubicle like any to be found in modern life. Both are plain, desolate spaces. However, the desert is clearly alive, and dwarfs humanity. Perhaps in his own way, His Excellency has claimed part of that grandeur for himself. Or he may just be LARPing, on a scale that would turn most geeks green with envy.